Sunday, June 07, 2015

Maps of the Week

There's only one serious contender for my favorite map of the last week. The Star Wars Galaxy is a huge 3d WebGL map of the entire fictional galaxy from the Star Wars films. The map includes 3d models of all the planets and all the moons that exist in a galaxy far, far away.

When the map loads you should press the play button in the bottom left-hand corner of the map to set out on a tour of the whole galaxy and the major planets. You can also navigate to individual planets using the menu that runs along the bottom of the map. If you get lost in your travels around the galaxy you can use the search option to search for the individual planets by name.

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas (While Water Supplies Last) is a great visualization of the development of Sin City as seen from space. To create this animated map of Las Vegas' growth ProPublica processed 40 years of Landsat imagery.

The purpose of the map is to show how the city's water consumption has grown in conjunction with the city's expanding footprint. If you use the timeline beneath the map you can animate through the satellite images and see how the city has spread further and further out into the surrounding desert. Check-out how Lake Mead in particular seems to have visibly shrunk in size in just the last decade.

PanTera's NYC Taxi Trips is the latest map to use New York taxi data to show how New Yorkers use the city's yellow cabs. This heat map shows the distribution of the pick-up & drop-off points of 187 Million taxi trips made in NYC in 2013.

One of the most interesting facts revealed by the map is that the drop-off points seem to be fairly evenly distributed, while pick-up points seem to be far more common in the boroughs on the major routes into Manhattan.

Flowing Data has mapped the most prevalent race in each US county. The Most Common Races map uses data from the 2013 American Community Survey to visualize the distribution of different races across the USA.

I like the option provided to select and deselect different races on the map. This allows you to make comparisons between different races and to see the distribution of different races across the country. The map highlights the high percentage of Hispanics in the South West and the high percentage of Blacks in the South East. Asians seem to make up a high percentage of the population in California and everywhere seems to have a large percentage of White Americans.

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